David points out that last year at this time when writing about my most anticipated movies of 2004, I said:
"HERO by Zhang Yimou is not on this list because I don't believe Miramax will ever release it in theaters. SPIDER-MAN 2 is not on this list because I don't see how it could measure up to the magic of the first film. HARRY POTTER is not on the list because I hated the first two and, really, how much difference can a director make on this series? In all of these cases: I'm not THAT gullible."
At first I laughed with some embarassment rereading that -Boy was I wrong. But then I felt really good. Here's hoping the cinema happenings of 2005 surprise me as well.
Björn points out that there are weird similarities brewing between the 1996 & 2004 Oscars, besides the much discussed lack of box office power. Among them...
DIR. The favorite film (English Patient/The Aviator) lost the Director trophy at the Golden Globes.
ACTOR. The star of the most nominated movie (Fiennes/DiCaprio) is up against a legend (Cruise/Eastwood) but both lose to a newer lesser-known talent playing a musician (Rush/Foxx)
SUPPORTING ACTOR. African American actor (Gooding/Freeman) beats the critical comedic darling (Macy/Church) and a fresh talent who wins the Globe (Norton/Owen)
Hmmm... to make these comparisons even scarier Björn reveals his trump card ... Both years features Andrew Lloyd Webber musicals in the running for technical awards!
And finally Joshua asks why the technical nods didn't follow the traditional "we're going to nominate the five movies that got the Best Picture nods" format this year. And goes on to say:
On this last point, I wrote to you this past fall about The Village - which, I believe, I was the only person in the US that actually liked the movie. I particularly liked Bryce Dallas Howard's turn and its fantastic score - a score which actually supported the film, wasn't overly showy or distracting, and set a great mood for the picture. Well, you could have knocked me over with a feather when it actually got an Oscar nod. I read somewhere that this may have only happened because the Academy's music branch is too close-knit a group, and is only interested in nominating the same people over and over again . . . but on this point, I prefer to live in my little fantasy-world where a well-written score was actually honored for its merits
As far as the technical guilds not following the Best Picture format ...Well, even though many in the individual branches threw me for a loop you can always count on the editors for a lack of imagination (they're nearly always 4/5 or 5/5 and they were again this year, avoiding obviously worthy stuff like The Bourne Supremacy and Eternal Sunshine because, hey, they aren't best picture nominees!) Gone are the days when they have their own opinion... There were once years here and there that didn't line up well at all. As far as the Best Score goes... you go on living that fantasy! I wish I could join you. But if it were really about a well-written score (I'm not saying The Village isn't) than Birth would have been in hands down. Because every score nominated is lesser than. The egregious snub of the never nominated Alexandre Desplat is now onto its second year. He did Girl with the Pearl Earring last year as well --He's proof positive that these composers believe in the "keep it in the family" style of nominating above all else. I love the Harry Potter John Williams music far more than I've liked anything by him in years but when you have someone who gets nominated nearly every year??? Incredibly, he's on his 42nd nomination since 1968... in the past 36 years he has only been absent from the list in 9 separate years and in 3 of those he wasn't even eligible. They have a problem in their voting pool. They just don't want to welcome the new composers. It must be a back slapping society.